FINANCE OFFICER

FINANCE OFFICER

GOVERNMENT OF SAINT LUCIA/ HUMAN CAPITAL RESILIENCE PROJECT

REQUEST FOR EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST: FINANCE OFFICER

 

The World Bank’s Board has approved US$20 million credit from the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank Group to finance the Saint Lucia Human Capital Resilience Project (SLHCRP).The Project seeks to strengthen the resilience of Saint Lucia’s population by using a two-pronged approach to strengthen human capital.

The Project includes a component on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), which focuses on the promotion of higher quality technical and socio-emotional skills and the transformation of the TVET sector from a supply-driven system to a demand-driven system that responds to a dynamic labour market.

The Social Protection (SP) component concentrates on strengthening SP Policy Frameworks and improving the implementation of flagship social programs with an emphasis on increasing the efficiency and coverage of the Public Assistance Program (PAP), Saint Lucia’s main cash transfer program.

The Project will be implemented through a Project Implementation Unit (PIU) that will carry out the activities in pursuit of accomplishing the objectives. The PIU will be headed by a Project Manager (PM) who reports to the Permanent Secretary (PS), Department of Education, Innovation and Gender Relations.

The Department of Education, Innovation and Gender Relations, the Project Executing Agency, now invites interested eligible individuals to submit Expressions of Interest for the position of Finance Officer.

The Finance Officer shall ensure that a transparent and integrated accounting system is maintained for all financial management processes of the Project, provide support for all the financial and accounting components, and ensure adherence of all agencies to the Financial Management Manual of the Project.

The duration of the assignment is expected to be for a period of sixty (60) months. Contracts will however be offered for one (1) year, and will be subject to renewal based on job performance.

Expressions of Interest will be evaluated based on the following: expertise, qualifications and experience in undertaking similar assignments. The Expressions of Interest should include the Consultant’s updated curriculum vitae including: (i) personal and technical skills, (ii) experience in working with similar projects in developing countries, and (iii) the names of at least three (3) references with contact information (e-mail address, telephone or fax numbers).

In the evaluation of submissions, consideration will be given to technical competence, qualifications and experience – as delineated in the attached Terms of Reference for this position,- local and regional experience on similar assignments, and existing commitments.

Following the assessment of submissions, the most technically capable and appropriately experienced applicants will be invited to an interview. The Department of Education, Innovation and Gender Relations reserves the right to accept or reject late applications or to cancel the present invitation partially or in its entirety. The Department will not be bound to assign any reason for not shortlisting any applicant, and will not defray any costs incurred by any applicant in the preparation and submission of Expressions of Interest.

Applications must be submitted in English to the address below and reach the Office of the Permanent Secretary, Department of Education, Innovation and Gender Relations no later than 4:30 pm local time on Friday, July 03, 2020.

Permanent
Secretary

Policy
& Administration Unit

Department
of Education, Innovation & Gender Relations

4th
Floor, Francis Compton Building

Waterfront,
Castries

SAINT
LUCIA

 

 

Please
note that the sealed envelope containing each submission should include the
name and address of the applicant, and shall be clearly marked “Human Capital Resilience Project- Title of
Position
”.

 

 

Further information including details of the project may be obtained by contacting 468 5285/5259 between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm local time, Monday to Friday, or by emailing cpusecretary@education.gov.lc

 

Saint Lucia Human Capital Resilience Project –P170445

 

PROJECT MANAGEMENT DUTIES/RESPONSIBILITIES, SKILLS AND QUALIFICATIONS

 

Terms of Reference for Finance Officer

 

Background

The World Bank’s Board has approved USD$20 million credit from the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank Group to finance the Saint Lucia Human Capital Resilience Project (SLHCRP). The Project aims to strengthen the resilience of Saint Lucia’s population by using a two-pronged approach to strengthen human capital. The components of the Project are as follows:

  1. Strengthening of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (“TVET”) through enhanced enabling environments and course offerings for TVET, which will focus on the promotion of more and higher quality technical and socio-emotional skills and the transformation of the TVET sector from a supply-driven system to a demand-driven system that responds to a dynamic labour market.
  2. Strengthening the Social Protection (SP) System through the enhancement of SP Policy Frameworks and improving the implementation of flagship social programs with an emphasis on increasing the efficiency and coverage of the main cash transfer program – the Public Assistance Program (PAP).
  3. Provision of technical assistance, capacity building, TVET equipment and furniture, and Project Management support.

The Ministry of Education, Innovation, Gender Relations and Sustainable Development (MoE) and the Ministry of Equity, Social Justice, Local Government and Empowerment (MoEQ) will work closely with the Project Implementation Unit (PIU) for the implementation of Project activities. The services of a Finance Officer are hereby being sought.

 

 Objective:

The Finance Officer is responsible for the development, maintenance and management of the financial management systems to enable the Government of Saint Lucia to meet its financial management obligations and ensure that the Implementing Agencies meet the obligations under the Finance Act. The Officer will ensure that a transparent and integrated accounting system is maintained for all financial management processes of the Project. The Officer is expected to handle and provide support for all the financial and accounting components of the Project including the timely processing of payments, submitting disbursement requests and documentation of expenditures, monitoring expenditures re-imbursement from the Bank, and timely submission of financial reports and audits (external/internal) and audit follow-ups. This Officer will ensure adherence of all agencies to the project Financial Management Manual.

 

Terms of Assignment

The Finance Officer will report to the Project Manager. The salary assigned to this post will be consistent with the level of responsibility envisaged and within the scope of the Government of Saint Lucia’s salary scale. It must be noted that this post does not include relocation allowance.

 

 Duties and Responsibilities:

The Finance Officer will be responsible for overseeing the Project’s Financial Management System and ensuring that day-to-day financial management functions are carried out appropriately to facilitate effective Project Management. The Finance Officer will prepare and obtain approval of financial management arrangements, submit disbursement requests and document expenditures to the World Bank, prepare and submit project Interim Financial Reports (IFRs) to the Bank, as well as prepare and provide all financial documentation and project reports requested by external auditors, Ministry of Finance and the Bank. The Finance Officer will prepare the IFRs and Financial Statements for all Project activities, ensure that Project expenditures are incurred for the intended purpose, and build financial management capacities in the PIU. The duties/tasks of the Finance Officer include, but are not limited to:

  • Ensure that the fiduciary responsibilities of the GOSL are met as detailed in the Financing Agreement and Disbursement Letter;
  • Ensure that all transactions are properly classified and accounted for as per the Project’s Chart of Accounts;
  • Ensure that the agreed procedures are adhered to in the receipt, disbursement and management of project funds;
  • Ensure that the timely, efficient and effective preparation and submission of reports as stipulated by the World Bank Terms of Reference, conforms to the Standard Conditions of Financing Agreement, and Budget Circulars. This may also include other interim reports requested as needed by the Bank and the GOSL;
  • Support in monitoring the achievement of Disbursement-Linked Indicators (DLIs) and consolidation of required documentation;
  • Ensure the integrity of the Project’s eligible expenditures as per approved Chart of Accounts, Project budget, and Project Operational Manual;
  • Prepare and submit withdrawal applications for reimbursement and advances made to the Government’s Consolidated Fund and Project Designated Account accordingly;
  • Ensure that the Project’s eligible expenditures requested for reimbursement are per the assigned values corresponding to the DLIs achieved;
  • Meet/follow up periodically with the Accountants of the Implementing Agencies to ensure timely submission of relevant documentation;
  • Lead PIU budget formulation, execution, monitoring, analysis and reporting activities;
  • Maintain an effective accounting system, utilize standard accounting procedures that will ensure full accountability, and record the sources and uses of funds;
  • Advise on resource allocation and reallocation;
  • Ensure that financial transactions are authorized, recorded, supported with documentation that can be easily extracted for the purpose of preparing financial statements and financial audits;
  • Manage Project expenditures and ensure full compliance with project rules and procedures agreed between the Bank and Government of Saint Lucia as per the Project Operational Manual, and the World Bank Project Guidelines;
  • Establish and maintain suitable systems of internal control and update the Financial Management Manual;
  • Maintain archives of financial documents that are produced during all phases of the Project;
  • Prepare and provide all financial documentation and project reports requested by external auditors, Ministry of Finance and the Bank;
  • Perform regular analysis of financial reports, identify problem transactions/irregularities, and resolve problems in a timely and effective manner;
  • Maintain reconciled accounts at any given point in the PIU;
  • Advise/liaise with PIU staff and Implementing Agencies in order to improve knowledge and awareness of budget methodologies, internal control, policies and procedures;
  • Assist and provide business intelligence and, if required, supporting documents and reconciliations during preparation for internal and external audits;
  • Ensure timely payments and resolution of accounting issues of the Project;
  • Coordinate and lead preparation of monthly financial reports;
  • Assist in the planning and preparation of the annual budget and ensure monitoring of budget and expenses;
  • Monitoring the procurement plan, including large contracts;
  • Monitoring financial disbursements in line with the Government of Saint Lucia and the World Bank requirements;
  • Reviewing and monitoring project performance and make recommendations to improve performance in relation to Financial Management;
  • Prepare annual financial statements in accordance with World Bank Project Guidelines and Government of Saint Lucia’s accounting policies;
  • Support in drafting the terms of reference for the auditors to be contracted by the PIU to work with GOSL’s Office of Auditor General;
  • Assess all reports received from external auditors and follow up on any audit queries/management letters;
  • Ensure compliance with World Bank regulations and procedures;
  • Compilation and consolidation of accounts and preparing Unaudited Interim Reports and Financial Statements for Audited Project Accounts by the stipulated date for each Fiscal Year as agreed in the loan/credit agreement; and
  • Preparation of required financial management reports and disbursement schedules to the World Bank on a regular basis.

 

Competencies

Specific knowledge, skills and overall competencies are required to successfully carry out functions of the position. The following information will be used together with the specific duties and responsibilities in order to assess the incumbent’s performance:

 

  • Possesses knowledge regarding GOSL Finance Administration Act and Finance Regulations. Able to provide accurate, practical advice on the application and risk mitigation measures related to GOSL Finance Regulations.
  • Demonstrates understanding of Financial Reporting guidelines for the World Bank.
  • Understands Financial Management and Accounting principles.
  • Demonstrates understanding of Accounting and Auditing Standards issued by IFAC.
  • Demonstrates basic knowledge in GOSL labour laws, National Insurance Contribution (NIC) and Income Tax regulations.
  • Possesses ability to perform assessments, provide advice and contribute to capacity building on internal control and internal audit arrangements at the project level.
  • Demonstrates basic Planning and Forecasting skills, able to perform assessments, provide advice and contribute to capacity building on budget formulation and execution processes at the government and project level.
  • Ability to apply technical expertise to resolve issues/problems.
  • Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honors commitments; delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards; operate in compliance with organizational regulations and rules; supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments; takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the unit, where applicable.
  • Able to analyze overall information, including facts and data to support sound, logical decisions regarding own work. Able to assess linkages between policies and potential issues, proactively identifying potential problems that may need attention and raising them as necessary to the supervisor in order to prevent challenges at a later time.
  • Able to communicate orally and in writing in a collaborative and professional manner. Possesses ability to write clear, and accurate reports.
  • Able to handle highly sensitive matters in a highly confidential manner.
  • Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goal.
  • Actively seeks information needed to complete assignments and shares knowledge with others.
  • Able to seek solutions that support peaceful resolution to disagreements, respecting different points of view.
  • Knowledge of public sector accounting procedures and exposure to lender/donor agency procedures.
  • Knowledge of computerized accounting/financial systems and the development of accounting reporting tools with ability to perform assessments, provide advice and contribute to capacity building on matters at the project level.
  • Knowledge of the Government’s SmartStream accounting system and QuickBooks.

Skills and Qualifications (Minimum Requirements):

A Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting, Financial Management and/or an equivalent or higher degree;

OR

 

Professional Accountancy Qualification CPA, ACCA from a recognized professional body;

 

At least five (5) years relevant work experience in a finance and administrative function;

 

Proficiency in QuickBooks or relevant Accounting software;

Demonstrated experience in procurement and preparation of financial reports and budget variance analysis;

 

High integrity, strong result orientation, and possess a drive for excellence and taking initiative;

 

Knowledge of project prioritization processes to maximize benefits with limited resource allocation;

 

Excellent communication and analytical skills;

 

Ability to understand, present and translate diverse complex information in a language that is suited to different types of audience; and

 

Experience working on World Bank or other donor-funded projects would be an asset;

 

Selection Criteria:

  1. Strong background knowledge in the Financial Management System of the World Bank;
  2. Knowledge of Government’s project implementation and financial management processes in Saint Lucia;
  3. Experience in working on World Bank and/or large scale projects in the Caribbean;
  4. Suitable academic qualifications; and
  5. Should be eligible to work in Saint Lucia.

Duration

The Finance Officer’s contract will be for a period of one year initially, and will be subject to renewal based on measurable performance in satisfying the objective of this position.